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Bishop of Blackburn: 'Church is not homophobic'
3:58pm Saturday 30th June 2012 in News
THE Bishop of Blackburn has denied that the Church of England or his Lancashire diocese are “institutionally homophobic”.
He was responding to the Vicar of Lancaster, Rev Chris Newlands, who said there was a "glass ceiling" in the church for clerics who backed same-sex marriage.
The reverend, who is in a civil partnership, said others in Blackburn Diocese and the church shared his views but were too scared to speak out.
Bishop Nicholas Reade rejected the claims but confirmed his opposition to same sex marriage and his own conservative views.
Rev Newlands said: "I think the church will remain homophobic, until there is no more discrimination against people.
"People don't want to put their head over the parapet because when they do, they are put down."
The Rt Rev Reade said:”Whilst there may be individuals in the church who are homophobic, I do not believe that the Blackburn Diocese or the Church of England as a whole is institutionally homophobic.
“As a bishop and as a diocese we are very open when it comes to appointments and always seek to appoint on merit. We have incumbent clergy who are in civil partnerships.
“Personally, I take a conservative view on Christian doctrine and morals. Marriage in its essential nature as the lifelong union of a man and woman is a given and not something we are at liberty to re-define.”
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